In Memoriam

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Donald G. Kassebaum ’54

Donald G. Kassebaum ’54, October 19, 2012, in Portland, Oregon. Don earned a BA from Reed in biology and completed an MD at the University of Oregon Medical School. His residency training in internal medicine and cardiology was done at the medical school and at the Veterans Hospital in Portland, and he was a senior research fellow in the cardiovascular division at the University of Utah College of Medicine. In 1962, he joined the clinical faculty of the University of Oregon Medical School, where he became professor of medicine. He was also appointed vice president and director of hospitals and clinics in the newly organized OHSU. Don’s academic career covered basic physiology and pharmacology, clinical cardiology, and later aspects of teaching, learning, and educational quality assessment in medical schools. Students and colleagues remember him as a medical school legend—one who had an immense breadth of knowledge and fine-tuned instincts about patient health as a patient-oriented clinician. He fostered student-centered and problem-based learning, and he made a major contribution to medical education as executive dean of the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine and as vice president and director of the Division of Medical School Standards and Assessment at the Association of American Medical Colleges in Washington, D.C. He also was administrative secretary of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, the national authority for accreditation of U.S. medical schools, and he assisted in modernizing medical education programs and establishing educational quality standards in a number of countries, including the Republic of Georgia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Switzerland, Mexico, Chile, and Argentina. Don retired from his work in 1999 and lived at the Oregon coast. Throughout his life, he was passionate about classical music and sought to advance his skills as a pianist. He also enjoyed cooking and gardening. Survivors include a sister. Memorial contributions may be made to the Donald G. Kassebaum Scholarship Endowment at Reed.

Appeared in Reed magazine: March 2013

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